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2014 Report

The Massachusetts Big Data Report: Executive Summary

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Governor Deval Patrick launched the Massachusetts Big Data Initiative to leverage and expand the Commonwealth's position as a global leader in the rapidly growing big data sector. The Initiative, led by the Innovation Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, has launched several pilot efforts to enhance and grow the region's vibrant and expanding Mass Big Data ecosystem, including strategic and collaborative partnership efforts with academia, industry and public sector organizations.

The purpose of the 2014 Mass Big Data Report is to provide an assessment of the relative strengths and weaknesses of the Commonwealth in big data. The Mass Big Data Report is intended to highlight prospects for growth in areas such as talent and workforce, ecosystem, and public data access; and to identify opportunities to promote and expand the Mass Big Data sector, while enhancing the Commonwealth's position as a global leader. The 2014 Mass Big Data Report is intended to serve as a baseline assessment of the Massachusetts Big Data ecosystem and related economic factors. Subsequent updates to the report will track changes, trends, and metrics based on this foundational data.

Conducted by Nexus Associates and staff from the Innovation Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the study is based on a broad spectrum of sources, including interviews with 16 key industry stakeholders; the results of the first annual Mass Big Data Survey of over 60 Massachusetts big data companies; an analysis of publicly available federal, state, and university data; input from social media sources, including LinkedIn; and an extensive literature review.

Principal Findings

Close to 500 Companies Participate in the Massachusetts Big Data Ecosystem

The companies that make up the Mass Big Data ecosystem range from small start-ups with a handful of employees to large, well-established firms such as EMC, IBM, Akamai and Oracle. Mass Big Data companies are leaders in a wide variety of markets, including big data-enabled applications, data analysis tools, data management software, storage and other hardware, cloud services, and other supporting services. Many companies target a broad range of industries ("industry verticals"), including healthcare, life sciences, financial services, manufacturing, transportation, energy and utilities, telecommunications, e-commerce and retail trade, entertainment and media, social media, and marketing and advertising. There has been considerable acquisition activity among Mass Big Data companies in recent years as larger organizations seek to gain access to new technology or market share.

Research Centers Across the Commonwealth Differentiate the Mass Big Data Ecosystem

Massachusetts has a significant base of organizations with an interest in using big data to improve operations, to develop products, solutions, and services, and to inform decisions. Ten leading university and hospital-affiliated research centers across the Commonwealth provide an important foundation for advances in big data.